Chemical Storage Guidelines and Regulations

Is your company in compliance with the various Federal regulations and guidelines that govern the way hazardous chemicals must be stored?  In the interest of helping our customers to select the right products to ensure the safe storage and transfer of hazardous chemicals and other flammable or combustible materials, Interstate Products has provided below a summary of information and links to relevant Federal compliance resource publications to help you better understand the basic principles, guidelines and regulatory rules that must be followed.

Many of the regulations and guidelines presented below have been widely adopted by most US states, however, it is also important to learn which state laws apply specifically to your industry, company or particular application.  Our customers are encouraged to seek out the relevant agencies involved in these types of regulations and guidelines in the states in which they operate.

Separation, Isolation and Storage of Hazardous Liquids

The improper storage of corrosives and flammable liquids is the leading cause of spills that can result in damage to facilities and impact worker safety.  One of the most effective practices to help minimize damage from chemical spills is to isolate the various chemical hazards.  Since knowledge of chemical compatibility is critical, it is important to understand that there are two major types of chemical hazards that require their own unique storage and transfer protocols.  The two types of chemicals that pose the greatest risk can be classified as either:

  • Corrosive materials, which include acids and bases
  • Flammable or combustible liquids

Corrosive materials have the potential to severely damage surfaces or other substances it contacts.  Physical hazards to workers include chemical burns, skin or eye damage; and inhalation or ingestion of a corrosive liquid can cause respiratory damage.

Flammable and combustible liquids are defined by their flash points.  A liquid’s flash point is a function of its vapor pressure and boiling point.  Flammable and combustible liquids are classified by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) based on their flash points:

Flammable Liquids (Class I):  Liquids with flash points below 100°F (37.8°C) and vapor pressures not exceeding 40 pounds per square inch (absolute) at 100°F (37.8°C).

Combustible Liquids (Classes II and III):  Liquids having flash points at or above 100°F (37.8°C).

The most effective way to isolate your flammable and corrosive hazards is to store them properly in approved safety storage containers and cabinets.  Using the correct flammable storage (gas cans) or chemical storage containers are the first line of defense.  The next step is to utilize the appropriate chemical safety storage cabinets in order to isolate corrosive liquids and flammable liquids from other incompatible chemicals; and to contain the hazards in the event of spill or leakage.

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